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Violetta wears Valentino Red dress for the premiere of La Traviata

Count Mr. Valentino as one of the Maria Callas fans looking forward to the new documentary Maria by Callas, directed by Tom Volf and featuring never-before-seen footage of the legendary soprano. Mr. Valentino's passion for opera runs long and deep: His father was obsessed, and took him to see he first opera when he was just 13. According to Mr. Giammetti, Valentino Sr. harbored dreams of his son becoming a tenor. Though Mr. Valentino's heart was set on design, his opera fandom did wind up influencing his fashion aesthetic, for it was when the young Mr. Valentino attended a performance of Carmen in Barcelona that he became enamored of the color now known as "Valentino red." And the maison continues to tip its hat to opera: Maria Callas inspired Pierpaolo Piccioli's Valentino A/W2018 Haute Couture collection, and a recording of her immortal Casta Diva aria serenaded attendees at the close of the show


(Top Right: Sketch of costume for lead, Violetta, by Mr. Valentino)


Meanwhile, Mr. Valentino and Mr. Giammetti have made opera a focus since their day-to-day duties at the maison. Their production of La Traviata, directed by Sofia Coppola and featuring costumes designed by Mr. Valentino, was a huge hit when it debuted in Rome in 2016. Since then, their staging of Verdi's tragic opera—the same opera Mr. Valentino attended with his father back in 1945--has gone on to stunning success in its various international engagements. To wit, the September 9th performance of La Traviata at the Bunka Kaikan Theatre in Tokyo sold out all 2,300 available seats in a mere four days, and similar excitement greeted the opera when it moved to Kanagawa Kenmin Hall in Yokohama. Of course, many opera devotees are still waiting for La Traviata to make it to their local stages—but now, at least, they can content themselves with Maria by Callas as they wait.


(Bottom Right: Maria Grazia Chiuri, Valentino Garavani, Sofia Coppola, Pierpaolo Piccioli)



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